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David R. Sands

David R. Sands

Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.

At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics and Capitol Hill, and spent eight years on the foreign desk as senior diplomatic correspondent. He is currently the deputy editor for politics. In addition, he has reviewed books and written feature stories for the newspaper and authored The Times' weekly chess column since 1993. He is also senior writer for Washington GolfStyles, a monthly publication covering the Mid-Atlantic golf scene.


Articles by David R. Sands

SANDS: Anand retains chess crown by slimmest of margins

By the narrowest of margins, world chess champion Viswanathan Anand of India has retained the crown he has held since 2007, defeating a game Israeli GM Boris Gelfand in a four-game rapid playoff Thursday in Moscow after the two deadlocked 6-6 in their classical title match. Published June 5, 2012

World Chess champion Viswanathan Anand from India, left, and his Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand play a FIDE World Chess Championship tie break match at Moscow's Tretyakovsky State Gallery in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

Indian Anand retains world chess title

Indian world chess champion Viswanathan Anand successfully defended his crown Wednesday, winning a four-game playoff in Moscow over challenger Boris Gelfand, who was seeking to become the first Israeli grandmaster ever to hold the title. Published May 30, 2012

SANDS: World chess championship heads for rapid playoff

The FIDE world championship match is headed into overtime as Indian champ Viswanathan Anand and Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand drew their final game Monday to finish knotted at 6-6. Aside from a brief dust-up that produced victories for each player in Games 7 and 8, the two players resembled a pair of soccer teams content to settle things with penalty kicks, unwilling to take any risks to try to score a goal. Published May 29, 2012

SANDS: Nakamura, Krush reclaim U.S. chess titles

Two ex-champions are back atop the heap in American chess and we finally got a little action in the world title match as well, in what proved to be an exceptionally eventful week for the game. Published May 22, 2012

SANDS: No blood spilled in Moscow's early chess clashes

The world championship chess match in Moscow between Indian titleholder Viswanathan Anand of India and challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel has reached the quarter post, with a few fireworks but no decisive results in the first three games of the scheduled 12-game match. Published May 15, 2012

SANDS: Spirited chess battle a draw for Kramnik, Aronian

The six-game match between Russian GM Vladimir Kramnik and Armenian GM Levon Aronian that wrapped up in Zurich on Sunday proved unexpectedly entertaining. The world's No. 2 and No. 3 players, evenly matched and theoretically armed to the teeth, showed a refreshing willingness to mix it up and take risks before settling for a 3-3 tie after Kramnik just missed a win in Sunday's final round. Published May 1, 2012

SANDS: Catching a chess champion when he's distracted

Champions may be most vulnerable right before they defend their titles. Deep into the preparation for his 12-game match against challenger GM Boris Gelfand of Israel starting May 11 in Moscow, titleholder Viswanathan Anand of India took a little timeout this month to hold down first board for the Baden-Baden team in final rounds of the powerful German chess Bundesliga. Published April 24, 2012

SANDS: Chess champion Kaufman offers new, improved opening book

Intending to update his highly praised 2003 book "The Chess Advantage in Black and White," Potomac GM and former world senior champion Larry Kaufman instead has produced a major new opening book likely to prove useful for competitors from casual club players to experienced masters. Published April 17, 2012

SANDS: Buzzer-beater clinches chess title for Texas Tech

To the disappointment of basketball fans everywhere, this year's hardwood version of the collegiate Final Four featured no buzzer-beaters, no last-minute 3-pointers to win the game. Happily, the collegiate chess version of the Final Four, won for the second straight year by the Texas Tech Knight Raiders earlier this month, offered a bit more excitement as the clocks ticked down on the decisive game. Published April 10, 2012

SANDS: Chess players who didn't spring forward fall back

They can analyze complex positions 15 moves deep, memorize reams of opening variations and endgame theory, rattle off the moves of games played a decade ago — but they can't remember to set their clocks an hour ahead. Published April 3, 2012

SANDS: Rising stars light up Euro chess championship

Cue the chorus of "Sunrise, Sunset." In one more sign that kids grow up fast these days, 17-year-old prodigy GM Anish Giri had what for him rates as a novel experience: losing to a younger player. At the 13th European Individual Championship now under way in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, the reigning Dutch national champ fell to 15-year-old fellow prodigy GM Ilya Nyzhnyk from Ukraine. Published March 27, 2012

SANDS: Chess match made in heaven won't come off in Beijing

For one brief, shining moment last week, the impending world championship fight between Indian titleholder Viswanathan Anand and Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand was shaping up to be the second most interesting match of the year. Published March 20, 2012

SANDS: A full house at U.S. Amateur Team East chess championship

As the politicians will tell you this election year, support is nice, but it's turnout that's critical. By that score, this year's U.S. Amateur Team East championship, held again in its familiar Parsippany, N.J., home, surpassed even its high standards. Published March 13, 2012

SANDS: Saluting some chess greats of greatest generation

Chess is witnessing the passing of its own "greatest generation" of luminaries who came of age in the years after World War II and would reshape and dominate the game for decades. In the past few years, we've lost two world champions — Bobby Fischer and Soviet star Vassily Smyslov — as well as such notables as German GM Wolfgang Unzicker, American Larry Evans, and the British player and author R.G. Wade. Published March 6, 2012


Conservative activist Andrew Breitbart dies at 43

Andrew Breitbart, the conservative journalist, Internet pioneer and provocateur who helped reshape the media landscape with tenacious and original political style, died early Thursday after collapsing on the street near his Los Angeles home. He was 43. Published March 1, 2012

SANDS: A royal conundrum: What to do about the king?

The beginning player is taught that the primary objectives of opening play are to develop the pieces and get the king castled safely. More sophisticated players know that in many modern opening lines, those rules, particularly about the king, are made to be broken. Sometimes, those sophisticated players would be wise to play like the beginners. Published February 20, 2012

SANDS: At the chessboard, expect sparks if lovers mate

Some wag once observed that no one ever joined the chess team in high school to meet girls, but for this, our Valentine's Day column, we'd like at least to try to make the case that chess and romance can prove a potent pair. Published February 14, 2012

SANDS: A poisoned pawn that hasn't lost its kick

Next time you're dining in Gibraltar, think twice before ordering the pawns. Two sharp games showcasing the notorious Sicilian Poisoned Pawn Variation top the menu today, served up at the just-concluded Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival, held on the British island at the entrance to the Mediterranean. Published February 7, 2012